Technofetish of the moment

So my newest technology fetish is RDF. RDF is the Resource Definition (Description?) Framework, and it is a type of XML document which describes entities and events in a standardized way.

“So what?”, I hear you ask.

Well, there’s a handy little declarative rules engine out there called Pychinco which can read rules written in RDF.

“So what?”, I hear you ask. Or is there an echo in here?

Most blogs allow you to publish a subscribable RSS feed. RSS is one of those funny acronyms which has several meanings, depending on who and when you ask. It has stood, at various times, for RDF Site Summary, Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication.

All together now – “So what?”

We have a rules engine which can read a very common ontological file format. I’d guess that 90% of the blogs out there now have an RSS feed generated automatically. So it’s theoretically possible to write a program that will not only go out and check for new posts on all of them, but also analyze the new posts and make intelligent decisions about how to report them to you. You could, for example, write a rule that says “I only want to read posts which link to another blog in my blog roll”, or “I only want to read posts which contain a link that is also in at least one other blog”, or, given a bunch of new posts which all contain the same link, say “Show me all the posts that have the link, but show them to me in chronological order”.

Must investigate further. Oh yeah, and I’m almost done ripping out the Fenna.

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